HudsonAlpha expands Information is Power initiative

Huntsville, Ala. — HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology announced today that it will extend its unique breast and ovarian cancer genetic risk testing initiative Information is Power for another year. The announcement was made at HudsonAlpha’s annual Tie the Ribbons luncheon to support breast and ovarian cancer research.

Information is Power is a collaborative effort between HudsonAlpha and genetic testing company Kailos Genetics, a HudsonAlpha associate company and developer of the genetic screening tool.

The initiative was set to wrap up in October of this year, but thanks to a generous sponsorship from Redstone Federal Credit Union, the initiative will be extended and expanded. Free testing will be available through October 2017 to 30-year-old women and men who reside in Madison, Jackson, Limestone, Marshall and Morgan Counties.

Redstone Federal Credit Union said sponsoring the initiative was important to them because of the positive impact that it will have on the community.

"We understand the importance of being knowledgeable about your health and risks to your health,” said Joseph Newberry, President and CEO of RFCU. “We also understand that for many in our community, access to such information can be challenging. This is Redstone Federal Credit Union’s way of helping to build a healthy and strong community and we are happy to do it.’’

The test screens for mutations in the well-known BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, as well as additional genes linked to other cancers. If you are 19 or older and reside in the five counties included in the initiative, the test will be available at a reduced cost of $129.

"This type of testing is traditionally done in a context where a person has a family history of cancer, and this initiative makes testing available to people in the community regardless of family history,” said Kimberly Strong, PhD, HudsonAlpha faculty investigator and director of the Ethics and Genomics Program. “Now with Redstone’s support, we are able to offer free testing to 30-year old women and men in the surrounding counties as well.”

Kailos said offering free testing to residents in five counties is one step closer to achieving their goal of population-wide genetic testing, which would allow everyone to have access to information about their genes.

“Our mission is to give people insight into their genetic data to help them make smarter, more informed decisions for their health,” said Troy Moore, chief scientific officer of Kailos Genetics. “Now that we’ve started to see the life changing impacts of the Information is Power initiative, we are excited to give even more people access to these benefits by extending that opportunity not only for another year, but to all 30-year olds in North Alabama.”

Phase two of Information is Power will begin October 29, 2016, at which time 30-year-old men and women who reside in the five counties will be able to order a free test kit. To learn more, visit http://www.hudsonalpha.org/information-is-power

About HudsonAlpha: HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology is a nonprofit institute dedicated to innovating in the field of genomic technology and sciences across a spectrum of biological challenges. Opened in 2008, its mission is four-fold: sparking scientific discoveries that can impact human health and well-being; bringing genomic medicine into clinical care; fostering life sciences entrepreneurship and business growth; and encouraging the creation of a genomics-literate workforce and society. The HudsonAlpha biotechnology campus consists of 152 acres nestled within Cummings Research Park, the nation’s second largest research park. Designed to be a hothouse of biotech economic development, HudsonAlpha’s state-of-the-art facilities co-locate nonprofit scientific researchers with entrepreneurs and educators. The relationships formed on the HudsonAlpha campus encourage collaborations that produce advances in medicine and agriculture. Under the leadership of Dr. Richard M. Myers, a key collaborator on the Human Genome Project, HudsonAlpha has become a national and international leader in genetics and genomics research and biotech education, and includes 32 diverse biotech companies on campus. To learn more about HudsonAlpha, visit: http://hudsonalpha.org/.

HudsonAlpha Media Contact:
Margetta Thomas
mthomas@hudsonalpha.org
25-327-0425

Kailos Media Contact:
Christina Kendall, Dodge Communications
ckendall@dodgecommunications.com
770.576.2545

Redstone Media Contact:
Patricia Lloyd
Plloyd@redfcu.org
256-722-3735